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Archive for the ‘Men’ Category

Talking In Code

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The other day I was out with Greg after a long exhausting day – first to a friends’ memorial service and then to a wedding – back to back.  Talk about the range of emotions!  And the day before that we had taken a long road trip to visit our new puppy.   So we went from happy to sad back to happy in a very short amount of time.

At the end of the wedding – we decided to stop at Forza, a coffee place in Puyallup, for a coffee and muffin to share.  While there, seated at a high table with matching high chairs – we were sipping our coffee and we began reflecting on the couple of days.  Because there were other customers in the coffee shop, one that was directing behind Greg’s left shoulder, I had to talk to him in “code”.

You know – the “code”.  The kind of talk that two people should understand when living with someone as long as we have.  It’s “talking” – but not really saying anything.  Smaller words – hand gestures, eye contact and facial expressions.  And because the subject was delicate and sensitive – especially the memorial service – I was trying to be “discreet”.

Women totally understand this “code” and use it often.  For example, when I’m with my daughter in public – all we have to do is look at each other – or she raises her eyebrows and looks at something and I know EXACTLY what she means.  All in a “look”.

What I forgot when using this “code” on Greg is that he most definitely is NOT a woman.  Nor does he understand the “code” at all.  It was disheartening and hilarious at the same time.  Here I was trying to be “discreet” and all sly, using gestures and silent communication – thinking, “he will get this – he looks interested, but puzzled – but I’m sure he’s just mulling it over” – so I kept going.  Only to have him (some minutes later) say to me, “Huh? – I don’t get it”

I realized that this “code” works only for women – and occasionally I forget that Greg is NOT like me – but he’s a MAN.  Oh – I know that he’s a man – and believe me – I wouldn’t want it any other way – but sometimes it’s frustrating because he doesn’t use the “code”.

We ended the conversation with much laughter – all the way out to the car – me explaining that I didn’t want the WHOLE coffee shop knowing what I was trying to be discreet about.  And  S P E L L I N G   I T   O U T  wouldn’t exactly have been the best way to do this.  It was a great moment for both of us – and showed us that as much as we get along and are great friends – he will NEVER be able to think like a woman – and I will NEVER be able to think like a man.

No, I will need my daughter and woman friends – if I want to talk in “code” out in public – and maybe it’s better this way, after all 🙂

Have you ever used a “code” when talking in public?  Has someone used the “code” on you”  And if you’re a man reading this, you’re probably saying, “What is a “code”?”

God Bless

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Interesting…

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So Greg and I were sitting at the kitchen table having a discussion over scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, when suddenly we found ourselves on a topic that has been hashed around in our home MANY times:  Why can’t a man think more like a woman?  And to be fair – Why can’t a woman think more like a man?

Greg, of course – sides with all the men out there and sees the need to defend his “maleness” – while I struggle to fight for the “right to be heard” and explain that women just don’t think like men.

It is a very familiar dance.  The male vs. women thinking – a completely different approach to life,  to people and relationships.

When men see something such as a picture or image on TV – it does something for them.  When a woman sees that same provocative thing – they are usually disgusted and turned OFF.  When a woman is just being friendly to a man it can be interpreted as something else – but the man can think that it means something else entirely.  The woman see that as it is – just being friendly.  And making a new friend.  When a man is friendly to a woman – woman usually see this as friendly – unless it is creepy in some way – while a man may be thinking totally differently about his friendliness and her responses to it – leading – shall we say – somewhere else?

Greg was telling me that he heard on a radio program the other day – how men like seeing pictures of women – so these same men think that sending a nude photo of themselves will somehow be a turn-on to women he’s never met on the internet or through text messages.  Clearly men DO NOT UNDERSTAND WOMEN.

I love all my friends and I have many – both men and women.  But understanding the differences in how men and women relate with one another can takes a lifetime.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  A well rounded person should have friends from both sexes and have an easy rapport with both.

And after being married to the same man for almost 30 years, I can clearly see the differences – at least in our home:   Men see and feel through their eyes.  Women see and feel through their heart.  

Because men assume that women feel as they do – often times conversation can be misunderstood.  And because women assume men think like a woman – when they just want a “good talk”  (like they would with any of their girlfriends) – it can be misunderstood.  Woman love having deep conversations and often times their guy friends are like their girl friends – comfortable and dependable.  With nothing meant – and no interest whatsoever.

Greg has had to learn the art of listening – because I like to express myself through talking things out.  And I have had to learn that he doesn’t just want to talk all the time 🙂  And by communication, we’ve learned that I am a natural “nurturer” – loving to help, encourage and lend support to those out there within my reach.

And I have learned that Greg needs to be admired and be the “hero” in my life – making even the most difficult of days – better.  He longs to fix and offer wisdom and advice to my everyday problems and situations.  He loves to be connected and be consulted in even the smallest of decisions.

We’ve learned to support each other and to play to each other’s strengths – and yes,  even help each other understand why men and women react and respond the way they do – when it seems foreign to us.

It’s – interesting.  It’s called life.

What do you find the most interesting about woman – if you’re a man?  And about men – if you’re a woman?  Do you try to walk around in their skin once in a while to see if you can understand them better?  Try it – it’s very – interesting.

God Bless

Are You Vulnerable?

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Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Our pastor spoke on the seventh commandment this last Sunday.  And then we discussed it last night in our small group.

This is a difficult subject to address – especially in a society where the rate of divorce is about 50% – which means 1 out of every 2 marriages will fail – if left untreated.

We seem to be a society that doesn’t care to address the issue of adultery – especially in the church.  We know that people fail – even high-profile ministers and staff members.  They were not guarding their heart – or protecting their “blind spot”.  But why it happens in the first place – is quickly swept under the rug.  We seem quick to want to usher them into counseling and not want an embarrassment for the church in any way. The church seems ill-equipped to handle the growing problem of adultery and just why it happens so much.   The epidemic seems to be no respecter of persons. Women fall into this almost as much as men do – and for very different reasons.

It is so simple to quote scriptures and to think we have guarded our hearts – before we’re married – or even when we are married – but  this “secret sin” is a heart problem and not a quick fix.  And it has been a problem since the beginning of time when sin entered the world.

We have many friends in our circle who have either found themselves a victim of a spouse having an affair and leaving – or committed this themselves and are now in another relationship and marriage.  It is easy to pass judgment and even try to “play God” with them – thinking that because nothing has happened like that to us – we are somehow superior.  I grow up thinking that someone falling into a moral temptation or failure was somehow very weak spiritually – wasn’t reading their Bible or praying everyday.  Now I know that although these spiritual disciplines are good for us – it does not guarantee our safety.  And I don’t think being weak spiritually is the problem – nor do I think it is the work of Satan – although he certainly is in the business of destroying lives.

I believe it is a heart issue.  The Bible says that our heart is “deceitfully wicked”  in other words – we are self-centered to the core and want our own way!  We wrestle with our own selfish motives in about every aspect of our lives.  The flesh DOES NOT like to be told “NO”!  It takes that renewing of the mind that David talks about in the Psalms in order for us to resist temptation – and even then, temptation is very strong.

We also have to realize that some have been a recipient of a failed marriage – or a moral failure of some kind.   And sometimes even though someone has failed in a marriage – is truly remorseful and wanting to begin again – the spouse will not reconcile. We have a way of holding these victims of un-forgiveness as “prisoners” – thinking that somehow we need to make them pay!  Like it’s our job or something.  Lord help us!  Let’s be compassionate – none of us is above temptation.  We might be one that fails in some way – let’s treat others with love and mercy – we may need it someday!

I believe we need better education in marriages – and an understanding of what things are likely to happen – if we are not guarded.

It is easy to take your spouse for granted.  We’ve all heard the cliché’s “He doesn’t see me anymore” or “She doesn’t appreciate me” – and soon a very magical thing happens – someone else does. It is easy to let this happen.  Usually it is not a IN YOUR FACE kind of moment with someone else.  No.  It’s very subtle and starts out very innocently.  It’s usually a trusted friend – or someone you work with and spend a lot of time with.  It’s usually a heart connection – you find that this person makes you feel good about yourself again.  This person makes you laugh and makes you feel young.  There is usually a moment when something changes in the relationship – you sense something is different and you find yourself being drawn to them and wanting to spend more time with them – even getting defensive and protective about them – and you find you’ve crossed the line into the emotions and the heart.  You care about them.  Really care.

At this point you have a choice.  You can continue – or you can turn away.  Hard as that may be.  Now here’s the dicey part of the equation:  Sometimes there isn’t a firm foundation in your already struggling marriage relationship – and there is nothing to go back to. That isn’t always the case – but for the majority of cases – I think it is.  Most people don’t stray from their marriage unless something is seriously lacking in their own. This is not an excuse – simply reality.

So adultery happens because it is a choice – and seems like the better alternative in comparison to what is not waiting for them at home.  Those that have found themselves in the throes of this emotional decision usually weigh the good and the bad – and in the end – knowing it will cause all sorts of personal and emotional problems – they do it anyway. You pass the point of no return.

I’m not making excuses for them – and after some soul-searching  when the bottom drops out for these people – neither are they. They know very well what they have done.  It is against the natural order that God has set up – as protection for our heart and lives.  And they know that.  Ask anyone who has failed in this area – even emotionally and they will tell you it is a horrible pain that you never recover from – the guilt, remorse, pain of losing friends and family – even children because of their decision is a terrible thing and worse punishment than any man could inflict on them.

God does forgive – that’s the good news.  No one is safe from sin.  We are all capable of making really bad choices in life – and then having to live with them – even after God has forgiven us. Look at the life of King David.  He was a “man after God’s own heart” and yet he was an adulterer, a liar and a murderer.   He repented and God forgave him – but there were still consequences to his actions – and they followed him the rest of his life.

How can we help those who have failed in this area?  Don’t shun them and treat them like they are criminals.  If they have repented before God – then who are we to judge them?  Love them and welcome them back with open arms – being kind and gracious just like Jesus is toward you when you blow it.

How can we guard our marriage?  I believe it starts with our own heart.  I believe it takes a big person to take full responsibility for his or her own actions – and not blame others for mistakes.  If you are a compassionate person who likes to reach out and help others – be wise as you listen and also as you share yourself.  Know where your weak areas are.  Do you like to help hurting people?  Does it make you feel good when they seem to respond positively to your encouragement and attention?  Are you drawn to people who are flatterers?  Do you like to be around people who make you feel good about yourself?  Especially the opposite sex?  Do you like to live close to the edge?  Careful – many a person has been burned by casually flirting with someone and opening up an area of their heart.

Be accountable to other people who you trust in your life. We have a small group that meets every week in our home – and we have pledged to be accountable to these people.  It was in my closing prayer last night that we would know for sure – that when we find ourselves in trouble – that these people will have our back and be a support and help to us during a time of temptation.

We also need to cultivate an emotional connection with our spouse.  So many times the man will think if his physical needs are being met – he doesn’t have to connect with his wife.  Wrong.  Women connect with their emotions and their hearts. They need someone who values them and meets those needs before she can bond and connect with him physically.  And as I learned in our small group last night – both men and women are capable of “withholding” as a means of control.

Women need to be smart when it comes to your husband.  If you do not give him that attention he needs – both emotionally and physically – he will be vulnerable and open to flattery and connection with someone else. And Men – you need to be smart too – if she isn’t connecting with you – someone else will be glad to step in and connect with her.  Don’t let that happen. Romance her and take care of her emotional needs.  Don’t be naive – things don’t just happen. A good marriage is no exception.  A marriage will go through many different seasons – if you are not willing to change and adapt – it is just not simply enough to say – “We made a promise many years ago”.  That promise can be broken by as simple a thing as neglect.  I’ve seen it happen many, many, MANY times over the years.

Find a way to connect with your spouse today – cultivate romance, caring, understanding and friendship in your relationship.  Put all your energies into making your marriage better – and if you have failed in this area and find yourself in a new relationship due to circumstances either out of your control – or because of your own choices – guard your already fragile  heart. Cultivate boundaries and protection around your heart – and begin again with your spouse in forgiveness.

God Bless

Is Santa A Woman? Makes Sense To Me!

A&P, COFFEE, SANTA CLAUS

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I found this cute article and had to share it with you!

 

I THINK SANTA CLAUS IS A WOMAN

I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!
For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It’s as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they — with amazing calm — call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree.
Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it’s an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.) On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.
Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he’d still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.

Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:

  • Men can’t pack a bag.

  • Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.

  • Men would feel their masculinity is threatened…having to be seen with all those elves.

  • Men don’t answer their mail.

  • Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowlful of jelly.”

  • Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them.

  • Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.

  • Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men…

  • Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy.

  • Cupid flies around carrying weapons.

  • Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.

Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.  But not St. Nick. Not a chance.  As long as we have each other, good will, peace on earth, faith and Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song,” it probably makes little difference what gender Santa is.

I just wish she’d quit dressing like a guy!!!

Author Unknown

 

Have an awesome day!

 

God Bless

 

Queen Of The Kitchen

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I am the only woman in my home – since my daughter left home about three years ago.  What this means is this:

I set the emotional tone in the home.

I can act irrational and my ‘boys’ just look at each other and shrug their shoulders.

I am in mid-life.  Yeah – you get the picture.

I am the nurturer and care giver – kissing all the ‘boo boo’s’ providing soft soothing words of comfort, and  tea or soup to make it better.

I have lots of personal space – no one questions me.

I can get away with crying at sappy movies – or even those that aren’t sappy.

But most of all –

I am Queen OF THE KITCHEN.

This may not sound like too much to you – but believe me.  It’s huge.  Two women in the same kitchen does not make for pretty relationships.  I am alone and rule with authority.  My husband (the King) is great at following behind me and cleaning up my many messes.  As long as I cook – he is quite happy to do this.

Now I am aware that the greatest chefs in the world are men – but in our home I am Julia Child.

I am picky about how I chop things – taking extra care that no skin or rind gets into the pan.  My ‘boys’ are not so picky – so I give them other jobs.  It is better that way.

I am patient when it comes to bringing things to a boil – and being careful to stir so things don’t burn.  My ‘boys’ are not so patient – they are in a hurry.

Great cooks are not in a hurry.  And neither am I.

I love my slow cooker.  We are very good friends.

I experiment with different healthy meals – and they usually turn out really well!

I made baked eggplant covered with marinara sauce for dinner last week – and it was like a healthy lasagna.  Only my husband didn’t know if my 19-year-old son would like it – (no meat) – and took a look at the peculiar looking dish – then told our son  he should probably pick up a hamburger on his way home.  Can you believe that?  WELL I NEVER!!  And the thing was – my eggplant was really good.  Hmph!  I still get a good chuckle over that!

But they still keep coming back – there are just some things they can’t make as well as I can.  Oh they can make breakfast items – and grill to perfection – but in everything else that requires experience and patience – that is left to me.  So Queen of the kitchen I shall remain ♥

Eggplant anyone?

 

God Bless


Perception is 100% As I Perceive It.

I have been noticing as I’m getting older – no – let me rephrase that.  I am noticing as my HUSBAND is getting older – that his driving is getting more and more creative.  Yes.  That’s the word.  Creative.

For example:  We were turning onto a street from a shopping center going at a constant rate of speed appropriate for turning into traffic.  I was secure and proceeded to check my emails on my iPhone – when all of a sudden I glanced up as I noticed my husband accelerating to the upcoming RED light!  I was curious, mind you – like any passenger would be (and a little concerned for my personal safety) as he was NOT slowing down – but going toward that light at an alarming speed!  But just like a man (of a certain age) he had misjudged the light turning green and had to SLAM on the brakes – or so it seemed to me.  He has another story – something about having to go at the rate of the traffic on the road.   Hmmmm.  I didn’t see any of them speeding up to the red light – only our car –  leaving everyone IN THE DUST and me with a very worried and stunned expression on my face.  You know the ‘look’.  It’s the one where the mouth opens – but no sound comes out.  Yeah – that one.  When I do this ‘look’ – Greg is quick to tell me that I’m going to catch flies like that.  The nerve.

Now I realize that his erratic driving may just be a perception.  It IS possible that I’m starting to ‘lose it’.  It wouldn’t be the first time I felt like I was.  I’ve raised two teenagers for goodness sakes.  And sometimes I really fear that my grasp on reality is slipping away.  But I do not EVER drive this way – nor do I remember him driving that way in all the years I’ve known him.  He’s always been a very safe driver – much more aggressive at the wheel than me – of course – but still very safe and reliable.  I could fall asleep in the car while we were going somewhere and feel perfectly safe.  Now I keep my eyes open – mostly in a wide-eyed stare – but they are still open.

Perception.  My perception.  It’s different from yours.  I view the world through a different lens than you.  The problem comes when I think that you should see things the way that I do – when you don’t.  Or try to get my husband to see that he shouldn’t be speeding up to a red light – but he should allow plenty of time to put his brakes on (and make me feel more safe).  But his perception of the incident is entirely different from mine.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just think like me – or do things just like me?  I wouldn’t have to guess at why things happen between friends – worry about what others are thinking – and wouldn’t be concerned at the actions of others.  Unfortunately life isn’t like this – it’s full of ‘give and take’ with the people in my world – making adjustments and allowances everyday with things I just can’t understand.

I have to believe that God made us this way on purpose.  We don’t understand everything and we’re not suppose to.  I don’t understand even the closest people to me and why they think like they do – and life is full of navigating around that.  Different opinions – different preferences – different perceptions.

The older I get – the more I realize this:  It’s not important that I understand everything – I know now I never will.  But it is important to have an open mind for others – to accept and embrace change in my life and realize that I am not the only one in this universe.  To accept that I am not the only one with an opinion or perception of fact.  And to learn to navigate through all the ‘junk’ of youth and inexperience to where I finally get to a place where – that’s okay.  Even if it means getting very used to speeding up to red lights.  Even then.  I guess.  After all – this is how I perceive it.

God Bless

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss…

Yesterday I was reading a very interesting article on kissing.  In this article written by a man happily married – he was explaining how a kiss is so important in a love relationship and especially in a married one.

I just had a few thoughts of my own on this.

First there are many types of kisses – and many cultures that express deep meaning in a kiss.  In some cultures a kiss in greeting is not unusual – on the lips sometimes but very often on each cheek as a way to say, “hello” – or “goodbye”.

We in America do not follow these rules – and in fact we seem to have our own ‘personal space’ rule.  We would think it funny – strange or even a little creepy if someone of the opposite sex (whom we are not married to) came up and greeted us with a kiss – unless it’s your Grandpa, Dad, Brother, or Uncle.  But anyone else – NO WAY!  It’s our ‘personal space’ again.

But a romantic kiss?  That’s entirely different.  A kiss from your husband is the best kind of kiss there is.  You really can tell so much from a kiss.  It’s intimate and warm and wonderful – when done right.  It keeps the romance alive and keeps you coming back.  As a woman – I would rather have a passionate kiss that hints of more wonderful things to come – then just about anything else he could do for me.  I love his back rubs too – for that reason.  Tenderness shared by two people – the human touch – so necessary!

There are many married couples that struggle in this area.  The passion and excitement have definitely gone out of the marriage and they have been reduced to an ‘arrangement’ of sorts – instead of a growing, healthy, passionate and intimate love affair – as is expressed rather graphically in the Bible – remember “Song of Solomon”?  I don’t think King Solomon could ever have been accused of not being passionate.  Or disinterested.  Was he ‘physical’ and proud of it?  You betcha!  This is what is missing today in most married couples that have been married for 20 years or more – it’s mundane, hard, tiring and not interesting anymore.

For you women out there in this situation, I say this to you – do something to turn that thing around!  We woman have so much ‘power’ in this department – and though the man is the pursuer and should be ultimately responsible when the ‘romance’ goes out – I say that the woman has so much to also take upon herself – if the romance is no longer there.  What are you doing to make yourself attractive to your husband?  Does he look at you anymore?  Why not?  Are you doing anything about it?  Do your eyes sparkle with fun and laughter when you’re with him”  Do you laugh together anymore?  Why not?  Do you admire him?  Hang on his every word?  Make him feel important?  Wear special outfits that you know he likes?  Be softer – more feminine?  How often do you kiss him?  Build him up?  Make yourself available for him?  Take his arm – cuddle up with him on the coach?  Men LOVE to be admired and to be touched. Often and by someone they love – it’s like a drug to them.  Touch him!  Often – even if he’s not used to it – he will get used to it with very little help – I guarantee it.  And you want him touching you and thinking about you, right?  Make sure you kiss him properly so that he does!

For you men out there – YOU are the pursuer – the one that presses in – the one that is all about the chase!  If you aren’t chasing anymore – you need to ask yourself a question:  Why not?  Women LOVE to be pursued – wanted and made to feel like a QUEEN!  Especially in the home – but it goes outside the home too.  Women love to be kissed – passionately. It lets them know that they are wanted and needed by you.  They love little ‘things’ – notes, gifts, actions and words that let them know you are thinking only of them. NOT just for physical love – although if you do this right – it will lead there – I promise.  Take care of her emotional need first – and then the physical can’t help but follow.  Don’t wait until she takes care of you – YOU take care of her first and see the rich payoff you will receive.  Woman love to be touched – especially by you – so TOUCH HER!  A smart man will touch often because he wants her to be thinking about him and not some other man, right?  So kiss her like you mean it – you want your kiss to be on her mind all day!

About a year ago I wrote on the subject “Men are Simple” and still believe that men have 3 basic needs – if you meet them you will have a happy man – eating out of your hands.  1) Admire them 2) Feed them 3) Physical love (sex) – nothing could be more simple!

But women are equally simple if you break it down – it is NO secret that women are relational in nature and much more emotional as a general rule.  They love the ‘little things’ – touches and kisses and words – actions that promote love and interest.  Make her your Queen – and she will be a happy woman – and a happy woman with her emotional needs met – will meet your emotional and physical needs.

I recently thumbed through some pages online of “The Sex Starved Marriage” by Michele Weiner-Davis.  I understand how important it is to have a happy, healthy marriage – so many do not.  By the title of this book alone – it says so much. We live in a society and culture that promotes passion and sex to the unmarried and even ‘affairs’ – NOT so much in a boring, long marriage.  But I want to challenge you today – do something more about your marriage – turn it around and have a wonderful, passionate, healthy and thriving marriage as an example for the world to see!  And like was stated in the article on ‘kissing’ – you can always tell a marriage that has gotten it right.  They touch and kiss – share secrets and smiles and have a certain glow.  Love makes woman beautiful – and men young-looking and sexy.  Try it out – you won’t be disappointed – I promise.

Is a kiss just a kiss?  I think not.

God Bless

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